Letters From the Issue of Thursday, February 22, 2007

Burning Issue

Should be kerosene and not heard: New Times should be ashamed of itself for giving so much space to a big old dyke nut like Laine Lawless ("Burn, Baby, Burn!", Stephen Lemons, February 15), who has no credibility even among anti-illegal-immigrationist assholes. That Chris Simcox will have nothing to do with her speaks volumes.

About the only thing that sets her apart from all the other Mexican-hating nuts is her homosexuality and that she actually burns the flag of another country. That makes for good photographs in the paper and on TV, I guess, but why should any of us listen to what she has to say?

Isn't it funny how easy it is in a so-called progressive country like the U.S. to get 15 minutes of fame? You lead a worthless life, and then suddenly you pour kerosene on the flag of a so-called backward country and light it, and you're somebody.
J.C. Coronado, Phoenix

Not So Fast

Make it fair: Ray Stern's photo-enforcement story really got me thinking ("Gotcha!", February 8). Do we really need Big Brother watching us at every turn? In this case, at every intersection in speed traps like Scottsdale and Paradise Valley?

The problem with these cameras is that they aren't discriminating. A police officer might give a motorist a break if he was in the flow of traffic (as the story said) or if he didn't think it was safe to stop at an intersection just as a light was changing because of a wet road. These cameras just zap everybody without regard to extenuating circumstances.

And then to find out that corporations and city governments aren't even expected to pay, and that process servers literally ride around neighborhoods stalking the rest of us . . . The inequities of this system are out of whack!

I thought it was interesting that Denver has pretty much scrapped its traffic-camera program — that is, made paying the tickets voluntary. They're smart enough to realize that the Big Brother factor is not a good thing.

And why can't we do that here? Because the insurance lobby is against it! Your article says insurance companies feel they need to know who among their customers are getting tickets. Well, of course they do! The additional tickets from photo radar translates into additional money they can charge their clients.

The Arizona Legislature needs to stop paying attention to the likes of the insurance lobby and make some sense of this program.
Thomas Leon, Phoenix

We spend less time on the road, and we still get shafted: Great article on photo radar! But nothing was mentioned about the impact on car insurance. There are so many people getting tickets that the average quote is higher than most cities with no photo radar. People get the tickets and their insurance premium is higher. So in addition to the photo-radar companies and cities making money, insurance companies are making it, too.
Elliott Calvetti, Scottsdale

You gate what you pay for: What a great article! You really gave all of us readers a lot of meaningful information. Just curious, what about gated communities? Can the process servers get in them?
K.J. Peres, Scottsdale

Ray Stern responds: Process servers say they follow drivers with card keys into gated communities, on occasion. They contend that if it's a guard-gated community, the guards must let them in because they are officers of the court.

So some companies are reporting their violators: I read the photo-enforcement article, which you clearly put much effort into. We have companies that are now mentioning the article. They are calling us to make sure that the person they reported as the driver has actually followed through and taken care of the ticket. I wasn't expecting that at all from your report.
Elsa Lynch, Court Services Manager, Paradise Valley

Win some, lose some: What a joke the photo-enforcement system is around here! I usually drive a company car, and I have been flashed numerous times. I don't have as many tickets as Francesca Cisneros (whom you mention in your story as having gotten 70), but I have gotten my share. I guess the tickets must come to my work and get trashed, because I never heard word one about any of them.

Which isn't true about the couple of tickets I've gotten in my personal vehicle. In both cases, the process server literally hung out in my neighborhood on weekends for several weeks trying to get me. Finally, my wife answered the door with the last ticket, thinking it was a package she was expecting, and (bam!) I was served. It didn't matter that I wasn't even home! (With the first ticket, I somehow managed to avoid service.)
Name withheld by request

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